Editorial Note: This month, in advance of NYFW and World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept 10, 2020, and in conjunction with Mikeysline in the Scottish Highlands, FWO is featuring outstanding young designers with a focus on mental health and wellness.
Okorie Lora Interview
Lora Okorie is a self-taught fashion designer based in Nigeria. A final-year student of architecture and a lover of art, she says fashion design is her platform for expressing the beauty she finds in nature and in man-made innovations.
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Photos: Olayemi Abiodun @_lensstudio
Q: What sparked your interest in fashion?
In 2016, I began working in fashion initially to provide a better solution to fashion needs within my environment. I always love to solve problems with whatever is available to me. I developed my pattern drafting techniques from my knowledge of architectural model making. I also incorporated arts and crafts into my works and a spent more years perfecting sewing construction techniques.
I had my “lightbulb moment” when it suddenly occurred to me, after a long search, that fashion could accommodate every talent, skill and ability I had developed over the years and still leave room for more.
Q: As a designer, what matters to you most?
Bridging the gap between my design inspiration and my client’s needs. Customers know what they want; it is important as a designer to be able to understand it, then fuse it with your design idea within available resources, to produce an outfit that stands out in dignity and beauty.
Q: Who are your core customers?
My core customers are people who have value for what I do, people to whom clothing means more than just covering but a means to express their uniqueness to the world. Young women seeking to define their place in the world and who they are in life. I meet demands for evening dresses, brides and bridal trains, (party rocker) owambe looks as we call them in Nigeria, and other outfits for special events.
Q: What’s your vision for the future.
I look forward to learning more about fashion and the business of fashion from great brands. Also, I intend to be a brand that is know for being inventive with available materials in creating high end outfits. I hope to reach the world from wherever I am on both local and international runways.
Finally, I see my designs inspiring people to be who they are meant to be.